Spring family photos at Wade Lagoon in Cleveland, OH

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Your Guide to Spring Family Photos in Cleveland

March 17, 2024

Are you curious about all things spring family photos? You’re in the right place!

The daffodils are coming up, the cherry blossoms are blooming, the trees all have that overripe-just-about-to-burst look to them, and everything smells fresh and amazing…which can only mean one thing: spring family photo time in Cleveland! (Also referred to as my favorite time of year.)

As we say “see ya, later!” to winter and welcome the warmth and beauty of the most wonderful season in Cleveland (in my humble opinion!), there truly is no better time to get outside for some updated photos with your family. Not only do you get to capture unforgettable memories with your loved ones, but you also get to do it against some pretty stunning backdrops in and around the Cleveland area. It’s a win-win!

Let’s explore everything you need to know to make your spring family photo session fun, stress-free, and a complete success! From choosing the perfect location to coordinating your wardrobe and color palette to preparing your family for your session, this guide has you covered. 

Family walking through spring meadow

Why Spring in Cleveland is the Perfect Time for Family Photos

Maybe I’m alone in this, but I will take a beautiful spring session over a fall session any day. (To my photographer friends: don’t come for meee!) Springtime in Cleveland is like nature’s very own Instagram filter. From the colorful burst of our native flowers to the deep greens of well-hydrated spring grasses and trees, the colors are so vivid they practically jump out of the frame, adding a little something extra to those family photos. 

Plus, with the comfortable weather that comes with spring—think mild temperatures and gentle sunshine—you’re primed to capture those magical moments with your family without worrying about melting in the heat or freezing in the cold.

Family sitting in field during spring family photos

Choosing the Right Location for Your Spring Photos

When it comes to finding the perfect location for your spring family photos in Cleveland, you’re spoiled for choice as there is definitely no shortage of amazingly scenic and picture-perfect locations at the ready; the hardest part is choosing one! 

First up, we’ve got Cleveland Metroparks. Visiting one of the many Metroparks (18, to be exact!) is like stepping into nature’s playground—lush greenery, grassy meadows, winding trails, and tranquil ponds just begging to be the backdrop of your spring family photos. Whether you’re exploring the vibrant colors of spring foliage or posing against the backdrop of cascading waterfalls, Cleveland Metroparks is always a hit with my clients. 

Family of four at Cleveland Metroparks in spring

Then there’s the beautiful and vast Lake Erie shoreline. Picture gentle waves, sandy beaches, and the sun setting in a blaze of golden hues. Talk about serene! It’s true you do miss out on some of the vibrancy of Cleveland spring when you opt for the beach, there are plenty of beach/park combo locations—Huntington Beach and Mentor Headlands—where you can get the best of both worlds. 

If you’re after a more curated vibe, look no further than the Cleveland Botanical Garden or the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. It’s like stepping into a lush oasis filled with blooming flowers, rich greenery, and unique stonework. Whether you’re wandering through the roses at the botanical garden or exploring the springtime blooms in one of the 30+ cultural gardens, these urban havens provide a dreamy backdrop in the heart of Cleveland. 

Mom and dad with baby at Cleveland Cultural Gardens

And last but not least, we’ve got Geauga Park District. Just a short drive from the Cleveland metro area, you’ll find sprawling preserves and meadows across Geauga Country that scream springtime vibes. From wildflowers to rolling hills, Geauga Country offers a more rural backdrop for your spring family photos. 

When to Schedule Spring Family Photos in Cleveland

The best time to schedule spring photos varies from year to year, but as a general rule of thumb, mid-April and on is usually a safe bet to get those beautiful spring colors. The daffodils on Daffodil Hill, cherry blossoms at Wade Lagoon and Brookside Reservation, and bluebells in Bedford Reservation and Cuyahoga Valley National Park all start coming to life in April, which makes it the perfect time to schedule your spring session. 

To enhance the warmth and vibrancy of spring scenes in and around Cleveland, it’s best to schedule your session when the sun isn’t too harsh or high in the sky. This is typically one hour after sunrise and 60-75 minutes before sunset. This time is referred to as the “golden hour” and produces that soft, flattering, glowy light everyone loves.

Sibling hugging in field

What to Wear to Spring Family Photos

Now let’s dive into the good—and also maybe the most stressful (don’t worry, I got you.)—part of spring family photos: what to wear! 

The clothes you choose for your photos can be the difference between good photos and great photos—no pressure! Coordinating your family’s outfits is super important for a cohesive, so you want to think about complementary colors and styles (not matching!) that showcase your family’s personality while still looking put together. My best advice is to start with one person’s outfit—usually mom or baby—and go from there. 

Spring Color Palette

Before anything else, you want to decide on a color palette or theme for your spring family photo wardrobe. Embrace pastels, soft hues, subtle florals, and neutrals—think soft pinks and peaches, pale blues, gentle greens, creams, and beiges—they’ll add a fresh and airy feel to your photos without overpowering the scenery.

Family laughing in yellow flower field during spring family photos

Outfit Ideas for Spring Photos

Ultimately, comfort is key, especially if you’ve got little ones in tow. Opt for breathable fabrics that look beautiful but allow for movement and play. Explore different textures, like linen, knits, ribbed fabrics, velvet, lace, flowy silks, and cotton.

For moms and older girls, I love longer (maxi or midi-length), flowy dresses because of the movement they create. You can also get the same effect with a flowy skirt or a long duster/cardigan, too.

For babies and smaller girls who will be held most of the session, a romper, overalls, or a matching set without a skirt is best. Skirts tend to bunch and distract from the photo; they also allow less freedom of play during the session. If you are set on a dress for the little ones, make sure you throw on a pair of bloomers underneath to avoid underwear showing in your photos. 

For boys and men, opt for henleys, casual button-ups, sweaters or thermals. Avoid hoodies, turtlenecks, polos, and formal dress shirts. 

Family walking in grassy meadow in Cleveland

Where to shop for spring outfits

First things first, just because you scheduled a spring photo session does not mean you have to go on a shopping spree. It is entirely fine to select everyone’s outfits from clothes you already own or mix and match newer pieces with current clothing. 

If you are planning on brand new outfits for your spring family photo, there is no need to overcomplicate things—stick to your tried and true favorite stores. Look for pieces that feel like you, are comfortable to wear, and pieces that give you a boost of confidence! 

Here are a few of my favorite places to shop for spring outfits: 

Best places to shop for mom and girls

Best places to shop for dad and boys

Best places to shop for kids and babies

Best local boutiques in Cleveland to shop for spring family photos

How to Prepare for Spring Family Photos in Cleveland

Ok, now that you’ve scheduled the perfect time for your spring family photos, decided on the most beautiful location in Cleveland, and nailed down your family’s outfits, it’s time to prepare your family for your photo session.

To ensure a smooth, stress-free—and most importantly, FUN—photo session, there are a few things you need to know.

Let your kids be kids

The number one most important thing to get those joy-filled family photos? Let your kids be themselves! You get to be the cool parents today—don’t try to discipline them, don’t stress about making sure they’re being “good,” and stop telling them to say “cheese.” I will guide them into the activities we are doing, but if they don’t want to cooperate, we’ll just pivot to something else. We want the kids to have fun, and if that means we let them run the show for a bit, so be it! 

Little girl smiling at Cleveland Cultural Gardens

Say goodbye to expectations

Parents…we need to talk about letting go of those expectations. Your session probably won’t be “perfect” and your kids probably won’t behave like angels the entire time and you know what? That’s okay! But if you can let go of expectations, be in the moment, and enjoy your family while I do the work, then your results will be joy-filled, warm, and you

Family swinging daughter during in-home family session in Cleveland

Be flexible

Cleveland is notorious for rainy spring weather, which means we have to have a little wiggle room as far as scheduling, start times, and locations. Sometimes that beautiful open field you had your eye set on might be oh-so-muddy. Or may we’re scheduled to start at 6:30, but the rain is rolling in at 7. Or we’re rained out completely! It’s my job as your photographer to always have a backup plan and a rain date saved for you on my calendar—all I need from you is your flexibility!

Mom kissing baby at Cleveland Cultural Gardens

Wrapping it all up

There you have it—your ultimate guide to spring family photos in Cleveland. As the flowers start to bloom and the temps get warmer, there’s no better time to get outside and capture those special moments with your loved ones. From choosing the perfect location to coordinating your wardrobe and preparing your family for the big day, I’ve covered it all. 

So go ahead, let your personalities shine, embrace the magic of springtime, and get ready to make some sweet mems that will last a lifetime. And remember, when it comes to your photo session: flexibility is key (roll with the punches!), be present and enjoy the moment, and leave the rest to me. 

Sisters running through grassy meadow during spring family photos

Here’s to capturing joy-filled, warm, and oh-so-you family photos that you’ll treasure for years to come. 

Click here to schedule your spring family photos with me! 


Hey there and thank you for stopping by! I’m Mackenzie, owner of Mackenzie Romagni Photography, a birth, newborn, and family photographer serving growing families in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. I hope you found my “Your Guide to Spring Family Photos in Cleveland” blog post helpful. 

Interested in learning more about booking a birth, newborn, or family session with me? Contact me here to connect! Not quite ready yet? No problem! Follow me on Instagram or join my email list here to stay in the know.

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I'm Mackenzie. My Philosophy?

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As a parent, I know how quickly our babies grow up; all the time in the world still doesn't feel like enough, and every moment counts. While I haven't yet figured out how to keep those babies small, I do know that a photograph does a pretty good job in the meantime.

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